Uvalde Police Response a ‘Failure’: DOJ Report

uvalde report

On May 24, 2022, a gunman entered Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, and killed 19 fourth-grade children and two teachers. The gunman remained in the school for more than an hour before police confronted and killed him. Desperate parents and family members outside the school sparred with law enforcement barricading them from reaching their loved ones, who were still attempting to call for help from inside the building. Now, nearly two years after the shooting, the Justice Department has released a report detailing the failures of law enforcement’s response to the Uvalde massacre — the findings are damning. 

“In summary, the response to the May 24, 2022, mass casualty incident at Robb Elementary School was a failure,” the report, a copy of which was obtained by multiple outlets, says. The report was provided to families of the victims before its official release by Attorney General Merrick Garland. 

“The painful lessons detailed in this report are not meant to exacerbate an already tragic situation or further the pain and trauma to those directly impacted by the events on May 24 and the subsequent days, weeks and months,” but rather to provides “answers to those directly impacted, while also conveying recommendations and lessons learned to the nation,” the report says.

A separate 2022 investigation conducted by the Texas House of Representatives reached a similar conclusion, blaming “systemic failures and egregious poor decision making” for the catastrophic death toll. “Law enforcement responders failed to adhere to their active shooter training, and they failed to prioritize saving the lives of innocent victims over their own safety,” read the scathing analysis from Texas lawmakers. 

In the aftermath of the shooting, Uvalde Police released conflicting accounts of what exactly had transpired within the school in the 77 minutes between the time the shooting started and the moment they were finally able to neutralize the shooter. On July 12, 2022, more than a month after the shooting, The Austin-American Statesman released surveillance footage from within the school which showed that officers had been in the building just three minutes after the shooting began. The gunman continued his rampage for almost 30 minutes as a group of armed officers clad in tactical gear and shields debated how to intervene. 

The footage shows law enforcement sending texts and making calls, grabbing hand sanitizer from a wall-mounted dispenser, fist-bumping each other, and searching for keys to the classroom within which the shooter was barricaded. All the while children trapped inside the room alongside their dead and wounded classmates and teachers continued attempting to call 911. 

Uvalde Police Chief Pete Arredondo was fired from his post by a unanimous vote of the Uvalde School Board in August of 2022. In October of the same year, the entire Uvalde CISD Police Department was suspended. 


Following the shooting, Robb Elementary School was permanently closed. In June 2022, the city announced to demolish the building. “You can never ask a child to go back or a teacher to go back in that school ever,” Uvalde Mayor Don McLaughlin said of the decision.

While the building may one day disappear, the pain felt by the families who lost their children and loved ones, and the devastation wrought upon their community, continues to linger. 

Source link: https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/uvalde-police-response-failure-doj-report-1234948850/

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